Tauranga based fishing trawler forfeit to the crown
A Mt Maunganui based businessman has been convicted of 13 separate charges for making false and misleading statements on fishing returns and documents, which related to fishing trips occurring between November 2009 through to October 2010.
Dalgon Kim appeared before Judge Rollo at Tauranga District Court today. Mr Kim was convicted following a defended hearing held during August and September 2012. Judge Rollo ordered the vessel involved in the offending, the Jay Debra 2099, forfeit to the crown and imposed bail conditions. Mr Kim is to surrender his passport and will be sentenced by the court at a later date.
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) District Compliance Manager for Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Brendon Mikkelsen says this type of behaviour undermines the Quota Management System (QMS) which relies on accurate reporting.
A total disregard for the Quota Management System as revealed by this investigation places fish stocks at risk of overfishing. Accurate information provided by commercial fisherman on their returns is essential for managing commercial fisheries and making sure they are sustainable” says Mr Mikkelsen.
Mr Mikkelsen said that it is concerning that a second Tauranga based commercial fishing vessel has been forfeit to the crown within the last three months for serious offending. “This result shows that the Ministry will not tolerate this type of offending”. “The Ministry will continue to utilise all compliance resources available to detect and prosecute those commercial operators who defraud the Quota Management System”
In his summary Judge Rollo made the comments, “in essence, the Ministry says that more fish has been landed and on-sold than documented.” Judge Rollo also rejected the defence evidence of Mr Kim as “untruthful and unreliable” and said this has been an exemplary investigation and commended MPI for its thoroughness and the clarity of presentation.
Fishery Officers ask the public and industry to report any suspicious activity in our fishery by phoning 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). All calls are kept confidential if necessary.
For information about recreational fishing limits visit http://www.fish.govt.nz/
You can also take advantage of the free mobile services. Text ‘app’ to 9889 to download the New Zealand fishing rules smartphone app. Or text the name of the species you are fishing for (e.g. crayfish, paua) to 9889 and you’ll receive the size and limit number by return text. Texts are free.
A photo of the Jay Debra 2099 is available on request, please contact James Sygrove on 04 894 0255 if you would like a copy.